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OBA Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 189

Adopted June 12, 1957

The Central Committee of the Oklahoma Bar Association has submitted to its Legal Ethics Committee the following inquiry:

INQUIRY

May an attorney, engaged in the general practice of law, carry with propriety on his letterhead in the upper left-hand corner the words, in column:

"Probate

Land Titles

Corporations"

and in the upper right-hand corner the words, in column:

"Income Tax

Estate Tax

Commercial"

and below his name and designation as attorney at law the words:

"General Practice in All Courts"?

OPINION

It is the opinion of the Committee that he may not with propriety so do. Canon 27 of the Canons of Legal Ethics of the American Bar Association prohibits advertising, either directly or indirectly, and it is the opinion of the Committee that the letterhead in question constitutes a representation by the attorney in question that he is especially qualified to represent clients in the fields indicated and constitutes a form of advertising. The sole exception permitted by Canon 27 is that a lawyer admitted to practice as a proctor in admiralty or a lawyer admitted to practice before the Patent Office may use the designation on his letterhead indicating bis qualifications.